Washington [US], March 17: The vessel containing 400,000 barrels of crude oil suffered a hull leak while undergoing routine maintenance in the Gulf of Thailand, leading to the risk of an oil spill.
Bloomberg reported on March 16 that the Thai Navy was directed to participate in efforts to rescue an oil storage vessel operated by a unit of Chevron Group (USA) that was damaged during routine maintenance in the Gulf of Thailand.
The navy will focus on supporting repair work and preventing oil spills at a leak that caused water to overflow into the hull, according to Thai government spokesman AnuchaBurapachaisri.
The military will also take measures to prevent oil spills from the ship, called FSO Bechamas 2, which is holding 400,000 barrels of crude oil.
Water has flooded into the ship since March 14, after an explosion in the engine during maintenance. One sailor was killed in the explosion, 28 others are safe and the ship is in stable condition, Anucha said.
The ship is currently about 207 km from the Sattahip naval base in Chonburi province and there is no information that crude oil has been leaked. The Navy is searching for the dead sailor's body and has a response plan ready if an oil spill occurs.
According to Thai Navy spokesman ProkgrongMonthatphalin, many forces are trying to get the body of the sailor out, repair the leak and prevent the oil spill.
"The condition of the ship is safe and weather conditions do not hinder the rescue work. However, there is no power in the engine room, which affects the assessment of the situation," he said.
The 25-year-old vessel has a capacity of 650,000 barrels of oil and operates at the Benchamas field in the Gulf of Thailand. Chevron Corporation issued a statement of condolence for the sailors who died and said all those not in charge of vital work had left the ship.
"The safety of everyone and the protection of the environment remain a priority. We have contacted and informed the authorities, as well as coordinated with all parties," according to Chevron.
In January 2022, an oil spill from an undersea pipeline operated by the Star Refining Company caused about 50,000 liters of oil to leak.
The location of the oil spill was just 20 kilometers off the coast of Rayong province in Thailand and spread to the beaches. Rayong residents and small businesses in January sued for 5 billion baht (3,429 billion VND).
Source: ThanhNien Newspaper